Haywood Community College’s Public Services Training Facility is nearing completion and is slated for an official grand opening in August. This facility will provide state-of-the-art, ‘real world’ tools and training in a controlled environment for first responders of all levels of experience. Through this centrally-located facility, these dedicated men and women will be prepared to protect our most important resource, the people of our community.

The Public Services Training Facility is a highly specialized building that will allow HCC to safely and effectively train all of Haywood County’s fire, law enforcement and EMS personnel. To manage the facility and the needs of these first responders, Scott Sutton began full-time work in March as HCC Public Services Training facility coordinator.

Since coming to the College, Sutton has been integral in preparing for the relocation and smooth transition of existing programs to the new facility. Sutton has been working with entities including the North Carolina Department of Justice and the State Board of Nursing to ensure the facilities are inspected and approved to be ready for students once the move is completed in July. The move, which is prior to the grand opening, will give Sutton and the HCC team time to work out any final touches that may be necessary with the new space. Sutton has been training extensively on operational procedures related to all of the state-of-the-art equipment and will serve to ensure the facility is used to its full capability, while placing the safety of our students at the forefront of all training.

“The new Public Services Training Facility will offer professionals in the field on-site training which we’ve not been able to do in the past,” Sutton explains. “Part of my job is to schedule use of the facility. I will also oversee the facility and make sure the equipment and everything the instructors need are ready for the instructors when they need it.”

According to Sutton, the Public Services Training Facility will allow for advanced and specialty classes, as well as keep the routine classes running smoothly.

The new facility includes dedicated classrooms to disciplines in first response such as nurse aide, fire, detention, EMS and law enforcement; a sprinkler lab for training; an extrication pad to practice extricating victims from vehicles on a slope; repelling walls; an open elevator shaft to simulate confined space operations; a drafting pit to test fire truck pumps and train on pump operation and drafting; and an apparatus bay.

Perhaps one of the most specialized features will be the highly secured burn building/training tower. The height of the tower is made to simulate the tallest building in Haywood County. In addition, the facility features flat and sloped roofs and two situation rooms where instructors can move walls to change the floor plan layout. These rooms will also feature burn props to simulate fires in an attic, kitchen and bedroom. Other features consist of a simulated jail cell, forcible entry door and bail out windows.

According to Brek Lanning, director of campus development, the contractor is finalizing the burn building/training tower and completing the burn props. Over the next month, minor site work and landscaping will be completed. Once all that is wrapped up, the final inspections will be complete.

HCC will hold a grand opening of the Public Services Training Facility in mid-August. For more information about the new facility, please call 828-565-4027.